Roots of worship


Gratitude is rooted in remembering. Joy, peace and worship are the fruit growing out of the healthy vine of thankfulness.

Psalm 9:1-2

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;

I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you;

I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Heaven is like…


I woke up early this morning. I don’t know why, really. Maybe it was so I could see this sunrise.

I thought, “Heaven is like this…” 

But then I realized there will be a day with no more analogies of “Heaven is like…” 

There will just be an eternal day of Heaven is.

Piano improv – Sunday morning July 3, 2016

United Kingdom

Because some asked for this, I’m posting it here. This was my improv during communion this Sunday, July 3. I didn’t have anything planned for this segment, so this is spontaneous worship. The clatter you hear are the platters with the communion bread being distributed and collected.

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My morning thought

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

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Spurgeon on the blessings of praise

This is a wonderful exhortation on the blessings of praise. It comes from the devotional, “Morning and Evening.”

“I will praise thee, O Lord.”
— Psalm 9:1

Praise should always follow answered prayer; as the mist of earth’s gratitude rises when the sun of heaven’s love warms the ground. Hath the Lord been gracious to thee, and inclined his ear to the voice of thy supplication? Then praise him as long as thou livest. Let the ripe fruit drop upon the fertile soil from which it drew its life. Deny not a song to him who hath answered thy prayer and given thee the desire of thy heart.

To be silent over God’s mercies is to incur the guilt of ingratitude; it is to act as basely as the nine lepers, who after they had been cured of their leprosy, returned not to give thanks unto the healing Lord. To forget to praise God is to refuse to benefit ourselves; for praise, like prayer, is one great means of promoting the growth of the spiritual life.

It helps to remove our burdens, to excite our hope, to increase our faith. It is a healthful and invigorating exercise which quickens the pulse of the believer, and nerves him for fresh enterprises in his Master’s service. To bless God for mercies received is also the way to benefit our fellow-men; “the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.” Others who have been in like circumstances shall take comfort if we can say, “Oh! magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together; this poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.” Weak hearts will be strengthened, and drooping saints will be revived as they listen to our “songs of deliverance.” Their doubts and fears will be rebuked, as we teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. They too shall “sing in the ways of the Lord,” when they hear us magnify his holy name.

Praise is the most heavenly of Christian duties. The angels pray not, but they cease not to praise both day and night; and the redeemed, clothed in white robes, with palm-branches in their hands, are never weary of singing the new song, “Worthy is the Lamb.”

C.H. Spurgeon

Sit at Jesus’ feet

I love C. H. Spurgeon’s call to love Jesus with all we are for all that He is. This is from his devotional, “Morning and Evening”

Morning, October 14

 

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” 

— Philippians 3:8

 

Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with him. No, I must know him myself; I must know him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge—I must know him, not as the visionary dreams of him, but as the Word reveals him. I must know his natures, divine and human. I must know his offices—his attributes—his works—his shame—his glory. I must meditate upon him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” It will be an affectionate knowledge of him; indeed, if I know him at all, I must love him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the brim—I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted after. “This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never hunger.” At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more. To conclude; this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating, that sometimes it will completely bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man that is born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble”; for it will fling about me the immortality of the ever living Saviour, and gird me with the golden girdle of his eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’s feet and learn of him all this day.

 

Overlapping Devotional thoughts

As part of my daily devotions I read through Scripture and read from Kenneth Osbeck’s “Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions”. I also frequently read from C. H. Spurgeon’s excellent “Morning and Evening” devotional. Today there was a happy overlapping of the devotional thoughts from them. First, here is a quote from the Spurgeon:

“We are married unto Christ; and shall our great Bridegroom permit his spouse to linger in constant grief? Our hearts are knit unto him: we are his members, and though for awhile we may suffer as our Head once suffered, yet we are even now blessed with heavenly blessings in him. We have the earnest (down payment or guarantee) of our inheritance in the comforts of the Spirit, which are neither few nor small. Inheritors of joy for ever, we have foretastes of our portion. There are streaks of the light of joy to herald our eternal sunrising. Our riches are beyond the sea; our city with firm foundations lies on the other side the river; gleams of glory from the spirit-world cheer our hearts, and urge us onward.”

The hymn for today is called “The Sands of Time Are Sinking” by Anne Ross Cousin (1824-1906). Here is the hymn text, as quoted in the devotional:

The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of heaven breaks; the summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes. Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but day-spring is at hand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love! The streams on earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above: There to an ocean fulness His mercy doth expand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved’s mine! He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.” I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand, not e’en where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

The Bride eyes not her garment but her dear Bridegroom’s face; I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace, not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand: The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.

Spurgeon says, “we have foretastes of our portion”. The hymn says, “the streams on earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above.”

“There are streaks of the light of joy to herald our eternal sunrising”, says Spurgeon.  “The dawn of heaven breaks…the fair, sweet morn awakes” speaks the hymn.

There is also the comparison of the church and Christ as Bridegroom and Bride: “We are married unto Christ; and shall our great Bridegroom permit his spouse to linger in constant grief?” “The Bride eyes not her garment but her dear Bridegroom’s face.”

All, all of this is written to encourage our hearts towards thoughts of our eternal home. May we ever more be sighing for that “summer morn” of the Eternal Day in Heaven…